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The Three Distinctive Roles of the Discipleship Process


by Jim Putman: Recently I sent out an email to my readers asking them to share their number one problem when it comes to making disciples. I received many, many emails. A number of different themes came up as I read through them. One thing that particularly stood out to me was the number of people who felt personally responsible for the people they were discipling either losing interest or turning away from God.

It is important that we recognize and own ‘our part’ in the discipleship process. But it is equally important to recognize that we alone don’t carry the full responsibility for it.

The truth is there are three roles in the discipleship process. There is our role, their (the disciples) role, and God’s role. The key truth is that we can only take responsibility for our own part.

Now I am certainly not saying that we can’t grow and get better at what we do. We can. But there are a number of possible reasons for why a person might not respond positively to the gospel message, or to our encouragement or direction. For instance – in the case of witnessing to a lost person, perhaps we were trying to force something on the person that God was not in on. I’m not saying that God wants anyone to be lost – he doesn’t. But He does know each person’s heart. We may be only one in a series of steps they will go through before they surrender to God. Or it could be that God IS working in their heart, but they are the one holding back refusing to respond.

This was originally posted on Jim Putman’s blog here. Used with permission.

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